HomeLatest NewsEntertainmentWeather 63°TrafficSubmit/Photos Videos

Amazon Offering Medicaid Recipients a Prime Discount

In this Feb. 9, 2018, file photo, a box for an Amazon prime customer moves through the new Amazon Fulfillment Center in Sacramento, Calif. Amazon is seeking to woo more low-income shoppers by offering a discounted Prime membership to those on Medicaid. The online retailer already offers a cheaper monthly membership to people who receive food stamps or other government assistance through Electronic Benefit Transfer cards. Rich Pedroncelli/AP, File

Amazon has taken another step to woo low-income shoppers to its site and away from rival Walmart.

The online retailer opened up its $5.99-a-month discounted Prime membership to people on Medicaid Wednesday, giving Amazon an even bigger pool of potential shoppers who may otherwise have been unable to pay the standard fee. Since June, Amazon has offered the same Prime discount to people using food stamps or other government assistance through an Electronic Benefit Transfer card. Amazon declined to say how many people signed up through that program.

Cute alert! A rare friendship has formed between Taigan the tiger cub and Alabai the puppy at Vladivostok Zoo in Russia. A video published by the zoo shows the tiger cub and the puppy playing together inside a cage.

(Published Friday, June 22, 2018)

Industry analysts believe Amazon is maneuvering both to expand its Prime membership numbers, and to go after people whose first shopping destination may be Walmart.

Adding Medicaid recipients makes Prime, and its free, expedited shipping, accessible to more people, Amazon.com Inc. said.

Nearly 70 million people are enrolled in Medicaid, which provides health coverage to low-income people and those with disabilities. More than 42 million participate in the food stamps program, through what is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

To apply for the discounted Prime, Medicaid recipients need to take a photo of their Medicaid card and upload it to the site. The $5.99-a-month price is more than half of what Amazon charges for its $12.99-a-month pay-by-month option. It also comes out to be nearly $30 cheaper than its $99-a-year plan.

One-year-old Ayla Esler burst into a smile after hearing sound for the first time Tuesday, thanks to cochlear implants installed in the toddler’s ears last month at the Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.

(Published Friday, June 22, 2018)

Besides the free two-day shipping, Prime members get other perks, such as access to Amazon's video and music streaming services.